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2019 IHSA 2A - Journeys to the State Semifinals

 In the Class 2A IHSA State Playoffs, the four State Semifinal finalists; Beecher, Rockridge, Pinckneyville, and Olympia are set to play on Friday.

Take a look at the four schools’ postseason paths to the State Semifinal.

Beecher

The Beecher Bobcats are 37-2 overall and went 10-0 in River Valley Conference play.

The Bobcats took on Noble/Baker in the first round of Regional play winning 15-0. In the Regional Championship, Beecher defeated Carver Military Academy 7-0.

In the Sectional Semifinal game, the Bobcats took on Wilmington and won 10-0. Beecher would then play Reed-Custer in the Sectional Championship game taking a 3-0 victory.

The Beecher Bobcats would take on Aurora Central Catholic in the Super-Sectional round.

The Bobcats would need extra innings to advance to the State Semifinals for the third year in a row. Both pitchers were able to work around trouble and keep the game 0-0 through seven innings.

In the top of the eighth, Beecher would start the inning off with a single off the bat of Gabrielle Lee, a double from Adrianna Picicco, and an intentional walk to Karly Bainbridge to load the bases. The first run would cross the plate as Alyssa Oldenburg drew a walk and the Bobcats would then add on another run on a Faith Curran single. Beecher would add on two more runs from a single to right from Margaret Landis. The final three runs came Gabrielle Lee getting hit by a pitch and an RBI single from Adrianna Picicco.

The Bobcats’ pitcher Kayla Hon would close the door in the final half inning as she went eight innings, allowing only two hits and striking out 13.

Rockridge

The Rockridge Rockets are now sitting at 31-6 and went 10-0 in Three Rivers Conference play.

Rockridge started their run winning the Regional Semifinal 4-1 overall Wethersfield and the Regional Final 10-0 over Mercer County.

In the Sectional Semifinals, the Rockets won over Midwest Central 16-0. Then in the Sectional Championship, they defeated Tremont 13-1.

Rockridge then took on Newman Central Catholic in the Super-Sectional round.

Sterling Newman Central Catholic would get on the board in the bottom of the first. Hailey Frank doubled to start the inning and would later score on a single off the bat of Jordan Johnson.

Rockridge would answer in the fourth inning putting up one run. The inning was started with a double to left off the bat of Hailee Dehner. A batter later, Kadey Garrett hit a triple to right to tie the game at 1-1.

The Rockets would then explode offensively in the sixth to score ten runs. The inning started with back-to-back singles from Lexi Hines and Hailee Dehner. They would score two on an error and then add another run on a double from Olivia Drish. Rockridge would then score their next six runs on RBI singles from Addison Riley, Amelia Thomas, Lexi Hines, Hailee Dehner, Ella Rursch, and Olivia Drish.

After the one run in the first, Rockridge’s pitcher Amelia Thomas settled down and finished the game throwing six innings, allowing only four hits and the one run.

Pinckneyville

The Pinckneyville Panthers have had an exciting year as they are 24-8 overall and went 8-2 in Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference play.

Pinckneyville defeated Benton in the Regional Semifinals 12-3 and then won the Regional 10-2 over Nashville.

In the Sectional Semifinal, the Panthers won over Edwards County 3-2 and then defeated Harrisburg 4-0 in the Sectional Championship.

Then the Pinckneyville Panthers took on Mater Dei in Super-Sectional play.

This tightly contested battle saw Hayley Palm for Mater Dei, and Taylor Witges for Pinckneyville take control in the circle. Palm went six innings, allowing two hits and striking out five. Witges went seven innings, allowing five hits, striking out seven and allowing one run.

In the bottom of the first, Pinckneyville started the inning off with Kyla Hagene single, and then Taylor Witges doubled to left scoring the first run of the game.

The Panthers would add another run in the third after two walks and a sac bunt from Megan Englehardt put runners in scoring position. A ball got away from the catcher, and Taylor Witges would come in to score.

Mater Dei would try to mount a comeback as they scored one run in the top of the sixth. Elizabeth Beckmann doubled to start the inning and then was brought home on a single from Maddy Trame.

In the final inning, Taylor Witges would shut the door advancing Pinckneyville to the State Semifinal round.

Olympia

The Olympia Spartans have gone 27-7 overall in 2019 and went 6-3 Illini Prairie Conference play.

In the Regional rounds, Olympia first defeated El Paso- Gridley 12-1 and then took home the Regional Championship 2-1 over Prairie Central.

Then in the Sectional Semifinal Olympia defeated St. Joseph-Ogden 4-2 and then advanced to the Sectional Championship where they won 6-0 over Unity.

Olympia would advance to the Super-Sectional to play Southwestern.

The Spartans would fall behind in the top of the second as Southwestern scored one run. In the bottom half, Olympia started the inning off with a double from Sydnee Usherwood. A few batters later, she would score on a single to center off the bat of Kaelyn Leverson.

In the fifth Olympia would add on some insurance runs and take a 4-1 lead. The inning started with a double from Mariah Maris, a walk to Chloe Scroggins, and a bunt single from Liz Davis to load the bases. One run would score on a wild pitch, and then two sac flys would bring in the final runs.